Work Place Romances: Should Employers Regulate Dating Between Employees.

Some employees can resort to legal action alleging discrimination if the favoritism becomes too apparent (Gallo, 2006). This issue should be addressed by human resource leaders before it reaches embarrassing levels.9

Transfers and terminations. Failed workplace romances often result in the transfer or termination of employees lower hierarchically in an organization. It has been established that many employees are fired after participating in workplace romance (Appelbaum et al., 2007). This trend usually affects women because they are mostly lower in the organization hierarchy. Human resource managers should be wary of such actions because they can lead to lawsuits based on organizational status and gender discrimination (Gallo, 2006). These issues are very prevalent and they are likely to hurt an organization’s reputation.9

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Work place romance refers to a mutually desired relationship characterized by physical and emotional attraction between two members of the same organization (Lickey, Berry & Whelan-Berry, 2009). It is a love arrangement founded on individual consent and mutual desire between two employees. Work place romance has become an issue of concern due to its apparent commonness in many workplaces. According to a 2013 survey on workplace romance by Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 24% of workers interviewed confirmed to have been or being currently in a workplace romance (SHRM, 2013). The survey also reported that 43% of human resource managers confirmed the existence of workplace romance incidents currently in their organizations (SHRM, 2013). These figures prove that workplace romance is not an isolated issue in human resource management but rather an issue that should be addressed and resolved successfully.

The surge in workplace romance has been attributed to the increase in women in professional positions as well as an increase in the time spent in the workplace (Ariani, Ebrahimi & Saeedi, 2011).

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